DeMar DeRozan is Unbelievable, MVP Voting, Welcoming Tristan Thompson, and Other Bulls Bullets

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DeMar DeRozan is Unbelievable, MVP Voting, Welcoming Tristan Thompson, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Wilt Chamberlain once scored 100 points. He once grabbed 55 rebounds, averaged over 50 points per game, and played the most minutes of any player in a single season. The legendary big man also claims the all-time rebounding title and has the most seasons leading the league in field goal percentage.

If we’re being honest, the 7’1″ center whose career spanned 14 seasons might as well be a myth, which is exactly why what DeMar DeRozan accomplished last night is essentially beyond comprehension.

With a 38-point showing against the Kings on Wednesday night, the Chicago Bulls All-Star starter became the first player in NBA history to have seven consecutive games of 35+ points on a 50 percent or better shooting performance. Chamberlain previously held the longest such stretch at six games.

I’ve read over the historical achievement several times since the final buzzer sounded last night, and it has yet to sink into my brain the way it should. Those are the kinds of numbers you glance at on Basketball-Reference and giggle in disbelief. Those are the kinds of numbers that are normally followed up with, “that could never happen in today’s league!” Those are the kinds of numbers we’d see from the Monstars against a pre-Michael-Jordan-led Tune Squad. But here we are.

DeRozan broke a 60-year-old record held by one of the most unstoppable players in NBA history. And while there are many moments this season that can speak to how special the guy has played, this immediately moves to the top.

•   Add one more game into the mix, and DeRozan now has eight-straight games with at least 30 points to his name. The scoring has come tied to a masterclass of footwork, ballhandling, and composure. However, it’s also come tied to a number of other impactful contributions. What has taken DeRozan up a level this season isn’t the expert scoring, but rather his ability to use this elite shotmaking to influence other areas of the game. I talked about this the other day, so I will keep it brief this time around, but DeRozan has also averaged roughly 6 assists per game over this miraculous stretch. Likewise, he’s found a way to contribute on the boards with 6 rebounds a night. Once criticized for being a one-dimensional and high-volume shooter (which, to be fair, he was at times), he continues to show how a player can evolve and refine his game.

•   So. Many. Fun. Highlights.

•   As great as DeRozan has been, I wouldn’t be surprised if the latest MVP Straw Poll by ESPN adds some fuel to the fire. Tim Bontemps asked 100 media members to cast an MVP vote between Sunday and Tuesday. The results of this informal survey placed DeRozan just 7th among MVP favorites. The Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant and the Phoenix Suns Chris Paul are both ahead of DeRozan.

•   I want to believe the rest of DeRozan’s week would have changed some minds, but it’s hard to say considering only two games have happened since votes were reportedly submitted. The fact he has not garnered more respect is a bit puzzling. Not only do the Bulls sit at the top of the Eastern Conference heading into the All-Star break, but he’s managed to carry this team there despite a ridiculous amount of unfortunate injury trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I can totally accept the fact that this is a competitive field, and a seventh-place finish at the end of the season would still be an accomplishment. However, it is hard not to feel like there is at least some kind of current lack of respect for what he is doing.


•   The Tristan Thompson news has yet to be made official by the team, but all signs point to Thompson sliding into the Bulls rotation after the All-Star break. He bid farewell to the Indiana Pacers after an impressive 17-point performance in 21 minutes of action last night against the Washington Wizards.


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•   I’ve seen some slight concern on the Twitterverse about Thompson’s potential fit inside the Bulls’ locker room, but I’m not worried at all. While he is certainly someone who makes far more headlines in pop culture than basketball, we don’t have any reason to believe he isn’t a solid teammate. He is an 11-year veteran who knows his role and seems hungry to play winning basketball. I know there were some rumblings about Celtics players not loving his vibe last season, but Thompson and multiple players quickly shut down that rumor. For a team that needs a more aggressive big man and can benefit from an on-court in-your-face attitude, I think Thompson could easily prove to be one of the better post-trade-deadline pickups.

•   To be sure, I get some of the concern over messing with this team’s chemistry. These guys all seem to love each other, and while the on-court product is most important, the relationship they have behind the scenes is what establishes a willingness to keep building that on-court product.

•   Cool Buzzer Beater Alert:

•   Shoutout to the Packers for reminding everyone how important a good Special Teams is this postseason!

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.